Astrotwins: Project Rescue (Astrotwins #2)
Mark and Scott Kelly, who are mostly known for getting in trouble, are finally back from their first space adventure. The twins have wanted to explore space ever since they were little and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. And when they hear that a Russian cosmonaut is trapped inside the Salyut space station now orbiting 220 miles above the surface of the Earth, they wish they could find a way to help.
While staying in the countryside at their grandfather’s house with their friend Jenny (aka Egg), the twins repurpose a NASA Titan 2 rocket ship being stored nearby. Complete with spacesuits and snacks, the twins take off to rescue the Russian spacecraft. Will they ever see their family or their grandfather’s backyard again?
Written by a NASA astronaut with four space flights under his belt, the second exciting Astrotwins story includes extensive back matter on the space program with fantastic facts and details.
What I enjoyed even more than the space travel was the exquisite attention to period detail in the book. Clearly, Kelly remembers details like the price of gas (57 cents a gallon!), what was on t.v., the things the family ate, and the general pace of life. There's even a delightful interchange when the twins want to call Egg, but know their mother won't want to spend the money to call "long distance". Today's readers will definitely learn a lot about what life was like in the 1970s!
There are really no other middle grade books that present kids taking off into space, but readers who are science fiction fans or deeply interested in science will find Astrotwins a fun fantasy read. Who doesn't want to travel into space with a blenderized peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a snack?